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Monday, May 21, 2001
Latest in IT world

Whizkid nabbed for song piracy

HONG KONG customs officials have arrested a 14-year-old computer whizkid for distributing copyrighted pop songs on the Internet for free. The boy, the youngest person arrested by Hong Kong customs for Internet piracy, had allegedly set up a Web site and illegally created his own server. He then set up links between his site and other networks that enabled surfers to download music free of charge, the customs department said The site, which had attracted 40,000 page views since its launch two months ago, offered users some 300 pop songs, many of them by well-known Cantonese pop stars, the department said. The site has now been shut down and the boy has been released on bail pending advice from the justice department. If found criminally liable, the boy faces fine of $6,400 for each case of copyright infringement and a maximum four-year jail sentence.

Question paper leaked

Thousands of German students studying for diplomas in information technology have been forced to resit an examination — after the questions were leaked in advance on the Internet. "Of course we are annoyed," Juergen Mund, a training officer for one of the regional chambers of commerce who ran the exams, said. So far, investigations have turned up no trace of who put the questions on an anonymous homepage the day before the exam, and it was not clear if it had been the result of a particularly-gifted IT student hacking into the exam board’s system. The exam board is launching legal proceedings. The students will have to repeat the exam on June 6, cutting into their summer vacation.


French police raid centres

French police out to smash a paedophile ring exchanging child pornography over the Internet raided 66 homes around the country and detained dozens of suspects, a police spokesman said. "About 15 persons have been seriously implicated after paedophile diskettes and CD-ROMs were found at their homes," a police spokesperson said as the raids were still going on. About 220 cops were involved in the raids, which took place in 26 departments in France and the overseas department of Reunion Island.

Iran officials want cafes regulated

Iranian telecommunication officials have called for regulations on Internet cafes and hundreds of such cybershops were said to have been closed as part of an official clampdown, newspapers said last week. The officials told newspapers that the move was aimed at ending the large losses the cafes were inflicting on the monopoly Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) by offering cheap long-distance calls via the Internet. But they denied allegations that the TCI was behind a crackdown in which police were said to have shut down hundreds of Internet cafes. Reports over the number of the closed cyber cafes were conflicting. Some newspapers and cafe owners said police had closed more than 400 Internet cafes in the capital Tehran, demanding that the owners obtain licences to stay in business. — Reuters

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